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Bio for Derek Lane


Derek is a professional theatre practitioner, educator, and award-winning designer with over 30 years experience. He worked as a professional actor and comedian early in his career, turned his sights toward directing and playwriting, and has since found his true love as a theatre designer and educator. As a performer Derek trained at Second City in Chicago, did voice-over work for video games and radio spots, opened up for comedians such as Red Buttons, and has performed on television, in films, and for several professional theatre companies. He has also toured extensively -- logging over 4000 performances in his career – sometimes up to seven shows in a day. Directing work includes over 40 stage productions and being selected to showcase work at the International Thespian Festival and the Kennedy Center. As a playwright he has served as the playwright-in-residence for Taproot Theatre and Soledad Children’s Theatre, and 17 of his plays have been produced over the past 25 years. As a designer his work has been seen on stages in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver (British Columbia), Chicago, Boston, New York, and Tokyo. Design work also includes dance companies, amusement parks, casinos, theatre, television, and film. As an educator he has taught at every level including preschool, middle school, high school, and at the university level. He has taught at three high schools and five universities including San Diego State University, Clark University, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and Central Washington University. He currently is the resident scenographer and Production Manager at Humboldt State University. His true passion is teaching theatre educators and preparing students for work in the professional world.



Derek has received over 20 Certificates of Merit from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his design and directing work. His plays have been selected to perform at regional (regions 2 and 7) and national KCACTF festivals. As a playwright, seven of his plays have been published, while he has contributed several articles to regional and national theatre journals. He won the Marion Ross acting award, an Irene Ryan acting nomination, and has garnered both the Group Health and the Kaiser Permanente Awards for new works. He is currently working on a Theatre Design and Technology workbook/textbook for university and high school students.



M.F.A. in Theatre Design and Technology (San Diego State University)

M.A.T. in Theatre Education (Western Oregon University)

M.A. in Child Drama (San Diego State University)

B.A. in Theatre Performance (Seattle Pacific University)

Certified High School Drama and Art Teacher



Derek is married to his wife Jo Strom Lane, a high school theatre teacher in Portland, Oregon, and has a daughter DeLancey Lane who graduated from American University in 2017 with a degree in Politics, Policy, and Law. They also have two small dogs, Charlie and Jerry, and consider their students to be part of their family.

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